‘She had a great career. She had it all,’ says friend of retired Manhattan fashion exec killed in Maine shark attack

The Manhattan fashion executive killed by a great white shark in Maine retired from her successful career four years ago and hoped to spend her days staying active and spending time with her family, a longtime colleague told the Daily News.

“She had a great career. She had it all,” Julie Dimperio Holowach’s longtime boss and colleague Karen Murray told The News.

The 63-year-old Manhattanite was vacationing in Maine and swimming in the Casco Bay off Bailey Island Monday afternoon when the shark mauled her in front of her daughter.

“She was very active, athletic, worked out, ran and swam, did triathlons,” said Murray, the former head of sportswear at VF Corp. “We knew each other for 25 years, worked very closely towards the end of our careers at Liz Claiborne.”

Holowach joined VF Corp. as president of special markets for the Liz Claiborne brand in 2000, and was promoted to president of Kipling North American in 2006, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

She was also on the board of Sea Bags, a Maine company renowned for its tote bags.

“She was just a talent, you know? A fashion business executive that ran all parts of the business who was a great leader,” said Murray, who bought Fivestory, a Manhattan woman’s luxury clothing store, last year.

“Her people absolutely loved working with her and for her,” said Murray. “She just had a good work life, a good home life — basically just a talent and a pleasure to be around.”

In a statement to Women’s Wear Daily, Maria Vicari-Tralongo, former president of Nautica Apparel and a close friend of Holowach, said that while her career achievements were noteworthy, “she has left a more important legacy in the many coworkers and the friends and family who were all touched by her amazing spirit, her unique and enviable way of leading, mentoring and supporting of others.”

“I am devastated by the sudden loss of my dear friend Julie,” Vicari-Tralongo added.

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